In many parts of Indonesia, we can find this street monkey dancer. It is called in various languages and dialects. In Bahasa Indonesia is called Topeng Monyet (Masked Monkey), Standard Javanese named it Ledhek Kethek, while Eastern Javanese speakers (my native tongue) call this as Tandhak Bedhes. Some people make their living by performing monkey, which they train to do some attractions such as dancing, riding motorcycle, go shopping and many more, including playing stilts. The monkey is also dressed like human, and some of them are unfortunately treated badly by their masters. The street monkey dance is usually performed on the intersections, or housings and it is very attractive particularly for the kids. After performing, the monkey then distributes a can or something else for getting some money from the audience.
Maybe in Europe it is quite similar to dancing bear.
I often meet them on the street, or roam around housings around my environment. Sometimes I also meet some of them gather in front of Cathedral, talking about their daily life, as well as how much they get for today.
The money is usually used for its owner’s daily living and for itself. But I feel sad about their fates. Far away from the forest, even some of them have their canines removed. It is a very old tradition and cannot easily be banished. Exploration on animals has been existed since the first civilization.
Maybe people always talk about animal rights or human rights, but this is very different. Economic is still a very crucial part which must be fulfilled here. At least their treat to those monkeys will be more better. This is a tiny part of Indonesia for you all. Just a tiny part.
Location : Semarang
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